Born off-reservation in San Francisco on Nov 7, 1946, of Menominee Nation and euroimmigrant parents, Chrystos is self-educated. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including Not Vanishing (1988), Dream On (1991), and Fire Power (1995). Chrystos’ work has been featured in the anthologies This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981, edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldua) and Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology(1988, edited by Will Roscoe). With Tristan Taormino, she coedited the anthology Best Lesbian Erotica 1999 (1999). Chrystos won the Audre Lorde International Poetry Competition and has received the Sappho Award of Distinction from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Since 1980, she has lived on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
“These poems take us into the intensely intimate realms of desire, politics and survival. Chrystos’ words are made sharp by the living traditions of her people and the edgy rhythms of urban life. Both draw us in to hear her stories of passion and injustice. This is poetry to live by.” –Jewelle Gomez
“Like the surging waves of her beloved sea, Chrystos’ words and images crash around our feet and tug us into the heart of matters.” –Gloria Anzaldua
“These poems burn incandescently hot, in the flames of desire and anger. Read Fugitive Colors; the intense poet-voice of Chrystos will summon you to stand with her and know this place of fire.” –Minnie Bruce Pratt
“Chrystos’ poems in Fugitive Colors are made with the deep breath of passionate attention and friction. This book contains the avalanche of chaos and intensity, shadow’s side and stark light. Appearances of strange grace, belief and pain ‘name the edges’ then cut to the interior to find the ‘calm silence of blood.’ Breathe in. . . . Endure.” –Elizabeth Woody
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
Chrystos, "Fugitive Colors" (1995). CSU Poetry Center Books. 44.